Ore. House Fire Sparked by Torch Used to Clear Weeds

Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue battle house fire started by torch used to clear weeds near house.


At 7:38 p.m. on July 8, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to 16030 SW Farmington Road in Beaverton after multiple calls to 911 reported heavy grey and black smoke coming from a home.

Four minutes after being dispatched, Engine 67 arrived to find heavy smoke and flames on the rear of the home.

The crew initiated fire attack, while the crew from Truck 67 initiated a search of the home for any occupants.

Additional units arrived to assist with fighting the fire and the fire was under control just after 8:00pm.

After review of the scene and interviews, the most probable cause of the fire is a propane torch used by the resident to burn weeds around the exterior of the home.

The resident stated that, although he was also wetting down the area with a garden hose, the fire suddenly spread to vegetation next to the home and then ignited the home's exterior cedar siding. The fire then quickly spread to the home's roof that was a combination of ceramic tiles on top of cedar shingles.

Firefighters spent considerable time removing the tiles and cedar shakes to ensure there were no hidden fires that could reignite. 

In all, approximately 35 firefighters responded to the incident.